In 1978 Christopher J. Koch wrote an amazing novel about the 1965 failed coup attempt to oust Indonesian dictator “Bung” Sukarno. In the aftermath of that failure over 1,000,000 people were butchered. The book was called The Year of Living Dangerously and it was made into a movie in 1983.
Sukarno was president for 17 years and suppressed Indonesia’s parliamentary system in favor of an authoritarian “Guided Democracy.” Endowed with a “larger than life” personality, Sukarno’s personal and political excesses, and his infamous cabinet of 100 corrupt and cynical ministers, induced a continuous state of national crisis.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, welcome to my world. There don’t have to be exact parallels between Sukarno’s rule and the current president’s rule for you to get the chills and the heebie jeebies.
Americans have always felt immune to the harsh realities of life in other, less fortunate, countries. You know, those places where sociopathic dictators gleefully destroy their own countries for the sake of ego gratification and money?
This shit only happens in other countries, not America. Right?
However in the few minutes it took to stage that ridiculous “photo op” in front of St. John’s church America’s plight became all too clear —
- there was the obviously timed escalation of a peaceful protest into a “violent” protest (which simultaneously diminished and demonized the BLM protesters who were seeking justice for George Floyd and everyone else victimized by racism);
- followed by a mask-less Trump’s meandering walk across the street (accompanied by his band of equally mask-less minions, because, well, The Boss doesn’t wear a mask! and because Fuck Science!);
- ending with an already-disinterested Trump holding up a Bible for the camera.
Thanks for reading.